Thursday, December 18, 2008

2009 GA - Budget

Kaine Offers Major Shifts In Proposal To Cut Budget

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine launched a budget-balancing proposal Wednesday that would transform the commonwealth's old-guard fiscal policies into ones that reflect the political conversion from red state to blue.

Many of the prescriptions to address a $2.9 billion budget shortfall that he unveiled would have been inconceivable 10 years ago. He proposed doubling the tax on tobacco in a state that once based its economy on cigarettes. He wants to offer early release to some prisoners doing time for nonviolent offenses in a state that trails only Texas in executions. And he has suggested taking steps to end Virginia's long history of housing the severely mentally ill in institutions.

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Gov. Tim Kaine yesterday unveiled his proposals to cut nearly $3 billion out of the state budget, but Republicans say they won't support many of them, though they believe the state needs to prepare for a greater financial shortfall.

Kaine, who already made a round of budget cuts in October as the economy worsened, is proposing to cover the rest of the shortfall by raising the cigarette tax, cutting $400 million each out of education and health care, eliminating more than 2,000 state jobs, letting non-violent prisoners out of overcrowded jails earlier, and eliminating pay raises for state employees.

Republicans think the budget hole will worsen and that Kaine should have proposed deeper cuts now rather than waiting for the next revenue forecast in February.

"I wish the governor had gone ahead and taken that leadership," Majority Leader Morgan Griffith said.

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Old Coot said...

"No one likes to be the bad guy in this situation. The governor certainly made some tough decisions," Griffith* said. "I think he needed to make about an additional $600 million worth of tough decisions."
*House Majority Leader H. Morgan Griffith (R-Salem)

What cuts do you have in mind Delegate Griffith? Why don't you be a man and tell us what you would eliminate?

WMD said...

When Kaine first announced the need for budget cuts due to revenue shortfalls, the party of howler monkeys began screeching that he was trying to scare people; because the economy wasn't bad.
Now they screech about what he wants to cut, and then screech that he's not cutting enough.
What do they propose doing differently?